[This series is part of Section Four, Ethics and the Third Person. An index with links to all parts of the work as they are posted can be found [url=https://forum.evangelicaluniversalist.com/t/sword-to-the-heart-ethics-and-the-third-person/1335/1]here.]
[This series constitutes Chapter 37, “Returning to the God of Justice”. It also happens to establish the foundational ground for universal salvation, although I don’t spell it out in so many words yet.]
Even though I still ended with a deadlock on a proposal of merely secular interpersonal ethics, I will reiterate here that I believe it is important to recognize, respect and appreciate the special strength of that theory. Despite its weaknesses, I consider this to be the best secular ethical theory on the market today; and I expect this, in one or another variation, to be the best that secular ethicists can ever really do.
‘And we don’t need God for it!’ the sceptic will emphasize.
Not on the face of it, no; but then again, as I noted in my previous chapter, there are aspects of the theory which, when followed out, might point toward our accepting the existence of God after all!
Which, in essence, is what I had done already, in the chapters before I began this section on ethics. So far, I have presented this section of chapters in a topical vacuum, without regard to arguments and conclusions I had already systematically reached; and I did that, in order to make clearer some of the issues at stake in the topic of ethical theory–far from least of which, were the problems involved in a theistic theory of ethics! Had I not proceeded in this fashion, those problems would have been far more difficult to clearly present. But then, neither could those problems be properly discussed without also contextualizing the topic of discovered rational ethics (exemplified as theistic ethical theory) amidst a discussion of other ethical theories and their claims–and problems.
Yet, my argument is a progressing synthetic metaphysic. And now it is time to go back to where I had left off, prior to beginning this discussion about ethics.